RUX December – 2015 Year-End Event

Get ready for our first annual year-end recap and networking event!

2015 was a banner year for Richmond UX, and on December 2nd we want to celebrate with as many of you as can make it. In addition to networking and getting to know each other better, we will recap 2015 and look ahead to 2016. As important, we want to hear from you. What’s been working, what could be improved, and how can we better fulfill our mission: to be the source for the theory and practice of user experience, research, design, and evaluation in the Central Virginia region; to promote the value of User Experience methods to businesses, schools, and other entities; and to cultivate a community of UX-related professionals through knowledge sharing, professional development, and networking.

5-5:30 – Networking
5:30-6 – 2015 Recap
6-6:30 – Open Forum
6:30-7+ – Networking

December 2nd from 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Capital Ale House Innsbrook
4024 Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060

We look forward to seeing you there!

RUX October – User Research in the Age of the Customer

On October 28th, RichmondUX will be hosting and moderating a panel discussion on User Research. In addition to local UX and CX professionals from CarMax, CapitalOne, CapTech Consulting, and Singlestone Consulting, Richmond UX is proud to welcome Service Design expert Rebecca Horton to Richmond for our discussion.

Note: Eventbrite registration is required for this event. Earlybird tickets are $5; General Admission is $7 after October 25th; and tickets will be $10 at the door. Student tickets are free (valid student ID required).

Given that User Centered Design seems to be common wisdom—if not always common practice—what is the state of user research and where is it heading? As early as 2011, Forrester Research has been touting the “Age of the Customer,” and has been entreating businesses to focus on the “Customer Experience.” But well before CEOs and CMOs were reading about user research in industry publications and attending CX conferences, UX practitioners were busy in the trenches observing, surveying, and working with users to understand their needs. During the discussion, we’ll dig into questions like:

  • Who owns (or should own) user research in the organization?
  • Is there such a thing as a UX process without user research?
  • How much research is enough?
  • What are the differences between market research and user research?
  • What user research methods provide the most bang for the buck?

We’ll leave plenty of time for audience questions, so come prepared!

4:30-5:00 – Networking & Announcements
5:00-5:45 – Panel Discussion
5:45-6:00 – Q&A

The Depot (VCU)
814 W Broad St
Richmond, VA 23220


RUX September – The 3 Es of a Scalable Content Strategy


On September 24th, RichmondUX is excited to welcome Colleen Jones, author of Clout: The Art & Science of Influential Web Content, to Richmond! The venue is the Capital Ale House at Innsbrook, and will be a bit more social and casual in nature. Come ready to meet folks and network, before and after Colleen’s presentation!

Today, business is digital. That makes content critical. A new report from IBM finds CMOs now plan to spend more on content than on advertising (Marketing is a (Buyer) Journey, Not a Destination). Content also is the substance of the user experience for digital products and channels.

So, you might have enjoyed some success with implementing a content strategy for a single product, channel, or marketing campaign. Now, imagine repeating that success. How do you make your content strategy scale across products, brands, channels, markets and more?

It’s a question that often brings up many, many, MANY more questions for midsize and enterprise organizations. This session will help you answer them with 3 useful principles to scale your content strategy.

4:30-5:00 – Networking & Announcements
5:00-5:45 – Featured Speaker
5:45-6:00 – Q&A
6:00-6:30 – Socialize/Network/Exchange Social Media Profiles

Gaurav Gupta

About Colleen
With nearly 20 years of experience, Colleen (@leenjones) has led strategic initiatives for Fortune 50 companies, government agencies, and boutique brands. She regularly consults with executives to improve their strategy and processes for content and has reached thousands more people through the cornerstone content book, Clout. Colleen also cofounded our content evaluation platform, ContentWRX and is the publisher of Content Science Review.

Over the course of her career, Colleen has held leadership roles at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Cingular Wireless (now AT&T). At Cingular Wireless, she won several executive awards for leading an interdisciplinary team to improve the customer experience across channels including web, IVR, mobile, and point-of-sale applications.

With an M.A. in technical communication from James Madison University, Colleen is an active member of American MENSA, American Marketing Association, International Association of Business Communicators, and the Association of Computing Machinery. She also founded Atlanta Content Strategy and is a past chair of the executive board for the Atlanta chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery SIG on computer-human interaction.


RUX August—The Power of CSS Flexbox

Note: Eventbrite registration is required for this event.

On August 26th, RichmondUX is excited to host a long overdue presentation on a topic in the intersection between interaction design, UI design, and front-end development. IT Analyst at VCU and long-time RUX member Gaurav Gupta will talk about the Power of CSS Flexbox.

Tickets are $5 through August 21st and $7 thereafteravailable via Eventbrite. (Tickets will be $10 at the door.)


Web developers have been trying to solve layout issues since the dawn of web. We started with tables, then floats and grids—each technique had its limitations. Thanks to Flexbox, it’s all about to change.

Flexbox is one of the most promising yet underutilized additions to the CSS3 specification. Using this layout model you can arrange elements in any direction, align them, distribute the space, assign sizes, stretch or shrink them to fit in parent element, wrap or rearrange them—all with far less CSS compared to grids.

Flexbox truly shines when used in responsive design. Changing the visual order, alignment, assigning proportional sizes of your boxes becomes a breeze. During this presentation, you will learn the basics of Flexbox specification and explore some of its practical uses.

Date: Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Location: Gather RVA, 409 E Main Street, Richmond


  • 4:30-5:00pm – Networking
  • 5:00-5:45 – Featured Speaker
  • 5:45-6:00 – Q&A
  • 6:00-6:30 – Socialize/Networking

Who should attend? Interaction and UI designers, front-end developers, UX practitioners. Create web based products or services? This session is for you. Get your ticket today. Get your ticket today.

About Gaurav
Gaurav Gupta is an IT Analyst in the Office of the Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his current position Gaurav wears multiple hats. As a web designer and developer, he builds websites and web applications with an eye towards simplicity and usability. In his administrator role, he has led the implementation of University’s online course evaluation system and manages its day-to-day operations. As a tech expert, he gets to play with the latest instructional technology.

RUX June—Designers & Content Creators: Make Love, Not War

Note: Eventbrite registration is required for this event.

On June 17th, RichmondUX and RVA Content Strategy are proud to welcome Christine Cawthorne and Jon Kohrs to Richmond to reprise their SXSW 2015 talk about resolving the conflicts that often affect the relationships between content creators and designers.

Tickets are $7 through June 2nd and $10 thereafteravailable via Eventbrite. (Tickets will be $15 at the door.)


The tension between designers and copywriters is at all-time high. Both designers of information, they need to get off their high horses, put their egos to one side and talk to each other. Users come to websites to get information, not to look at design, so content needs to be high up in the priority of a web build. Writers and designers both want to control the show, but if they start with UX in mind, the end result is much better for users.

This ‘marriage therapy’ session, based on cognitive behavioral techniques, will showcase how you can resolve the conflicts you’ve experienced – whether you are a Mr. Content or a Mrs. Designer. We’ll interactively assess the problems we face and work to resolve the arguments. We’ll find a way to build digital experiences together that are right for the user and – ultimately – the marriage too.

Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Location: The Depot (VCU), 814 W Broad Street, Richmond


  • 4:00-4:30pm – Networking
  • 4:30-5:15 – Featured Speakers
  • 5:15-5:30 – Q&A
  • 5:30-6:00 – Socialize/Networking

Who should attend? Anybody who researches, manages, designs, or builds user experiences and anybody who plans, creates, and edits content for these experiences. Whether you are a member of Team Content or Team Design, please join us for this lively debate conversation. Get your ticket today. Get your ticket today.

christineAbout Christine
Christine is an online copywriter with a background in journalism at the BBC. Having worked as a homepage editor for Yahoo, AOL and BT, she has translated this experience into writing content and managing social media accounts for brands including Pizza Hut, Paul Smith, Nokia, Boots and many smaller companies. Christine is currently working on the GOV.UK project, training people in government departments and agencies about user needs and how to write for the web. She combines her passion for stories with a keen interest in how people actually use and consume content on the web. Christine also teaches students at the University of Sheffield and the University of Derby, helping educate the storytellers of tomorrow.

JonAbout Jon
Jon is the UX director at a national government agency and owner of Fresh Eggs, a UX consultancy in Kansas City. On the side, Jon and his wife raise two kids and are pursuing raising a social startup, Stand Up For Good. Jon grew up on a small farm in rural Kansas and built his first website at age 10 using Paintbrush and Notepad. Since graduating from Kansas State University, he has been responsible for a broad range of UIs over the last decade, leading teams and strategy to deliver better experiences inside the government and for nonprofit activities. He is passionate about connecting the dots and finding unique patterns to solve problems, especially those that bring about meaningful social change. He uses analogies in nearly everything he does and blogs about them at


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RUX May: People Skills for UX

people-skills3Note: Eventbrite registration is required for this event.

Back in November, we hosted a local, sold-out viewing of the UX Futures virtual conference, presented by Rosenfeld Media. Those who attended thought watching the online sessions together—and networking before, during and after—featured all the benefits of a larger, one-day conference, minus the hassle of travel. We asked if you’d like to participate in an event like that again, and the response was a resounding “yes!” Rosenfeld Media has announced their next virtual conference, and we are excited to bring you, People Skills for UX. See below for more details, from Rosenfeld Media.

Tickets are $25, available via Eventbrite.

People Skills for UX
The skills no one told you you needed.

Many of us feel comfortable managing the nuts and bolts of research and design. What stumps us are people—delightfully difficult, unpredictable, and irrational. How do we get better at understanding, collaborating with, and motivating the people who are integral to our efforts to make experiences better?

In People Skills for UX, our one-day virtual conference, we’ll explore four critical soft skills themes: listening, facilitation, negotiation, and leadership. We’ll do it with a unique outside-in twist: pairing presentations by experts from outside the design world with responses from UX experts who are deeply in it. If you’re interested in the people skills that are behind great user experience design, please join us.


10-11:30am: Negotiation
Conflict is a natural part of life in general and UX work in particular—whether you’re at an agency or in-house, whether you’re the design director or you just joined the team. When competing for projects, collaborating with developers, or bargaining for better salaries. Negotiation is how we align our conflicting interests. How can we negotiate the best deals & mash the ones where both parties come out as “winners”?

  • 10-10:45am: Michelle Katz, formerly VP of Business and Legal Affairs, Universal Studios New Media
  • 10:45-11:15am: Harry Max, VP Product, AllClear ID
  • 11:15-11:30am: Discussion

11:30-11:45am: Break

11:45am-1:15pm: Facilitation
Statistics suggest that 37% of our time is spent in meetings—and it isn’t exactly spent productively, much less enjoyably. Effective facilitation changes the equation by making groups work—functionally and culturally—by squaring individuals’ needs with organizational dynamics and goals. What does it take to facilitate in ways that transform our meetings—and our organizations?

  • 11:45am-12:30pm: David Sibbet, President and Founder, The Grove Consultants International
  • 12:30-1:00: Kevin M. Hoffman, author of Meeting Design (forthcoming)
  • 1:00-1:15 Discussion

1:15-2:15 pm: Lunch break

2:15-3:45 pm: Listening
Listening is one of the most critically important—and misunderstood—human skills. As a matter of course, we listen—but few us know how to really listen. We regularly miss out on opportunities to challenge our own assumptions about the people around us and to learn what makes them tick. How can we listen more effectively to our colleagues and customers, better understand their motivations and environments, and align our work with their goals?

  • 2:15-3:00pm: Julian Treasure, author of Sound Business and TED speaker
  • 3:-3:30pm: Steve Portigal, author of Interviewing Users

3:30-3:45pm: Discussion

3:30-3:45pm: Break

4:00-5:30 pm: Leadership
Leadership is in flux. Organizations, their business models and their cultures are changing dramatically, and traditional command/control models are increasingly irrelevant. Leaders must rely on new approaches: modeling productive behaviors, working alongside their teams, inspiring possible futures, encouraging independence, and even celebrating mistakes.

  • 4-4:45pm: Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director, Code for America
  • 4:45-5:15pm: Kim Goodwin, author of Designing for the Digital Age and VP of UX, PatientsLikeMe

5:15-5:30pm: Discussion

After the last session we will be raffling off some terrific UX-related prizes, including the Grand Prize: the entire Rosenfeld UX library in digital format to one lucky winner!

Your cost to join us at Gather is just $25. On your own, this event would cost $179—with no discussions, door prizes, or networking. To attend an event of this caliber outside Richmond would be an even greater investment of time and money. Seating is limited…get your ticket today!

Thank you to our sponsors:


RUX April: Content First Design w/Stephanie Hay

Content First Design On April 29, RichmondUX—along with RVA Content Strategy—is proud to welcome Stephanie Hay, Instructor of “Writing for Web and Mobile: a Lean Approach,” to Richmond to talk about Content-First Design. Registration is free but required, and closes at 4 PM on April 28. Reserve your seat via Eventbrite.

We spend a lot of time trying to solve communication problems through design. We design first, write later, and end up iterating endlessly, only to start the process over again — design first, words last. What would happen if we wrote the words first—agnostic of technology or channel—and then designed an experience to bring those words to life? That’s what Steph Hay and her content strategy team are doing at Capital One. She’ll show us content-first techniques—like content prototypes, language boards, and conversation maps—that result in faster learning, fewer iterations, a more cohesive voice and tone, and higher engagement.

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (EST) Location: Capital One Town Center, 15075 Capital One Drive, Room C1, Richmond Schedule

  • 5:00-5:30pm – Networking
  • 5:30-6:15 – Steph’s presentation
  • 6:15-6:30 – Q&A
  • 6:30-7:00 – Socialize/Networking

How do I get tickets? This event is free to attend, but we have limited seating available. RSVPs on our Meetup site will not guarantee you a seat. Please register using Eventbrite to save your place. Who should attend? Anybody who researches, manages, designs, or builds user experiences, especially if you think about creating interaction architecture or writing for digital. OK, so who is Steph? Steph Hay is a pioneer of content-first design and Lean Content testing, two low-risk methods for proving traction before building a product. She leads Capital One’s Content Strategy team, which designs experiences “to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time,” and she also runs their weekly design shares (across 11 locations and 150 design team members). Steph’s a two-time startup founder, former consultant (working with Ben & Jerry’s and Coldwell Banker), international speaker, and mentor (500 Startups, The Lean Startup Conference, and CV Labs). Ask her anytime about Ohio, CrossFit, or ramen noodles—three things she loves. Thank you to our sponsor!: Capital One capitalone


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